Certain ARIA roles must contain particular children

Rule ID: aria-required-children
Ruleset: axe-core 3.1
User Impact: Critical
WCAG: 1.3.1

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Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact

Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Deafblind
  • Mobility


  • WCAG 2.0 (A): MUST

WCAG Success Criteria

  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Section 508 Guidelines

  • Not specified, or not applicable

How to Fix the Problem

Ensure all ARIA roles have their required children elements, if any.

The following attributes that indicate relationships or associations between elements cannot be readily determined from the document structure. They are linked to characteristics tables that list roles each is used in, as well as roles in which each can be inherited.

For similar (opposite) information, refer to Certain ARIA roles must be contained by particular parents.

Why it Matters

For each role, WAI-ARIA explicitly defines which child and parent roles are allowable and/or required. ARIA roles missing required child roles will not be able to perform the accessibility functions intended by the developer.

Assistive technology needs to convey the context to the user. For example, in a treeitem, it is important to know the parent (container), item, or siblings in the folder. This can be done in two ways:

  1. Code order or DOM: The necessary context is often clear from the code order or DOM.
  2. ARIA: ARIA (such as aria-owns) can be used provide the relationships when the hierarchy is not the same as the code structure or DOM tree.

Rule Description

Some ARIA parent role values applied to elements must contain specific child elements and role values to perform intended accessibility function.

The Algorithm (in simple terms)

Checks all elements that contain a WAI-ARIA role to ensure that all required children roles are present.


Other Resources

You may also want to check out these other resources.

Refer to the complete list of axe 3.1 rules.

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